So many people out there have goals and aspirations to lose as much weight as possible. They think that by losing weight quickly their life will completely change! And sure it definitely might, to a point anyway.
A question I hear quite often from new clients is, “how long does it actually take for weight loss to show?”
There isn’t an easy answer for this but in my experience, you can normally start seeing results in as quick as 1-2 weeks. This depends on multiple factors including how much weight you have to lose and the plan you use to lose the weight in the first place.
Within those 1-2 weeks, it’s pretty easy to lose around 5-10 lbs of body fat and water weight quickly. This makes a big difference in how your appearance looks.
The goal isn’t to stop at the 2-week mark, however! As soon as you get past your first 21 days (3 weeks), you’ll start to notice you’re ingraining good eating habits and adapting to a healthier lifestyle. From here, it is usually pretty simple to continue on your way!
After this first 3 weeks, you can start to see daily changes as long as you stick to the plan and increase the difficulty of your workouts/increase your calorie deficit.
How Much Weight Should You Aim To Lose Per Fat Loss Phase?
A lot of people have a huge rebound in weight after they lose a bunch of weight. I go over why this happens in my article on “How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off Forever”.
As explained in that article, you have to use a process called Reverse Dieting to keep the weight off permanently after a diet.
On top of that, you want to make sure not to exceed 1% of your body weight per week and 10% of your total body weight for an entire fat loss phase.
For a 200 lb male, this would be 2 lbs lost per week and 20 lbs lost overall. By following these guidelines, you won’t diet down to levels that increase your hunger hormones as much. If you surpass this number like many seem to, expect to see a rebound on body weight after a diet is over.
Take your time and only aim to lose a maximum of 10% of your body fat per diet phase. By doing this, you’ll keep the weight off and your hard work will absolutely pay off!
How Long Does It Take To See Weight Loss In The Face?
From my experience, I notice that it takes between 5-10 lbs of weight loss to notice a difference in your face. This is for those of average heights and weights, however.
If you’re more overweight, expect double these numbers to notice a major difference in your face.
Once you start noticing fat loss in your face, you tend to get even more motivated to continue losing body fat.
On top of that, since most people see your face more than any part of your body, your confidence should improve quickly as well.
Don’t quit, and continue pushing the limits of what you think you’re capable. By this point, you can absolutely make it until the end without fail! Stay the course.
How Long Does It Take For Others To See Weight Loss?
Doing some research on message boards and forums on the internet I found a pretty shocking discovery.
People tended to notice their weight loss at completely different rates based on how much those people weighed at the start. These rates ranged from 10, 20, 30 and even 40 lbs before people realized it!
And that’s not all! You know that 10% body fat loss I mentioned above? That’s actually almost the exact range other people start noticing! People that started at 275 lbs and dropped to 250 started getting noticed. The people at 150 lbs were noticed when they dropped around 15 lbs to 135.
It’s almost an exact 1:1 ratio of my recommended maximum fat loss! I didn’t even realize this as I was researching for this article.
Don’t worry if people are going to notice your weight loss, because they will! If you’ve only lost 5 lbs and people haven’t noticed it’s fine! Keep going and keep working hard. You’re 5 lbs closer to your goal.
Keep moving forward.
How Long Should A Fat Loss Phase Last?
This isn’t a tricky question by any means but how many people ignore how long a diet should be? Too many from my experience.
I’ve noticed a huge drop in motivation for people that diet for more than 12 weeks. And based on others recommendations, 12 weeks seems to be a sweet spot before diet fatigue starts to set in.
This also allows us to perfectly align our fat loss per week to make sure we stay on track.
Say you weight 180 lbs, based on my 10% recommendation, this means the maximum amount of weight loss you should be aiming for is 18 lbs. Then, we simply divide 18 by 12 weeks to find the amount of weight we need to lose weight to stay on track.
18/12=1.5 lbs lost per week.
As you can see, this is an awesome way to make sure your weight loss is heading in the right direction and not overdoing it by trying to lose fat for half the year.
What To Do If I Don’t Start Seeing Results In 4 Weeks?
Usually, by week 4 you’ll have lost a couple of pounds at least. If you find after this period of time you aren’t seeing results there are a few things you can do.
- Take progress pictures to make sure you’re tracking more than just bodyweight. A lot of times, especially for those with more weight to lose, you won’t see any changes on the scale for a while. This is usually due to building muscle mass and losing fat at the same time. This will show up as no weight loss on the scale. Taking progress pictures allows you to compare how you look, which is much more important than how much you weigh.
- Start taking measurements. Taking progress pictures can be a bit subjective. The best way to measure fat loss in my experience is by taking measurements. Sure you might have gained some muscle in your abdominals and low back, but odds are your waist size WILL go down if you’re actually losing body fat. I’ve found that when I couldn’t rely on the scale that taking measurements with a
measuring tapeis the best bet. An awesome measuring tape I’ve found is included with this Body Fat Caliper available on Amazon for a low price. Definitely worth the cheap investment.
- Make sure you’re moving more and track your calories accurately. The biggest issue I see with people trying to lose weight without any progress to show for it is a lack of calorie counting. If you’re working out hard in the gym, doing cardio, and just eating whatever outside of the gym, all of your hard work could be for naught! Instead of leaving it up to chance, start weighing your food with a food scale, and start tracking with MyFitnessPal. If you aren’t doing this and continue to see zero results, you only have yourself to blame. In addition to this, you absolutely need to make sure you’re moving more. If you work out hard 3 days a week but sit around all day the other days, losing weight is going to be difficult. Try to do something active every day you can. If you need help with how many times you should be training for fat loss, check out this article I just posted!
And with that, you should have a pretty good idea on how long it’s going to take to start seeing results from your fat loss plan!
It may not be easy to stick to a plan and be consistent but it’s absolutely necessary to lose fat.
When in doubt, treat it like a sprint. Spend no more than 3 months getting the work done, doing your cardio, and eating correctly in a calorie deficit. After you’ve hit your goal, reverse out of it slowly to maintain your weight loss without any unnecessary fat gain.
If you guys have any questions definitely feel free to drop them down below!
Have you had success with losing body fat in the past? If so, how long did it take to start seeing results?
As for me, every time I embark on a fat loss diet, 10% drops in body weight seem to do the trick every time. Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Until next time,